Supermarket cracks down on people breaking off broccoli stems to save money at the till
People have been left divided over whether this counts as theft
A supermarket in Australia has issued a warning to shoppers who break the stems off broccoli before buying it in order to save money.
Because customers pay for the vegetable based on its weight, by breaking off the stem which they don't want to use they'll pay less at the till because it will weigh less.
Just like the UK, Australia is being hit by soaring prices, with a kilo of broccoli now costing A$11.90 (£6.75).
The trend of removing stems before buying was even addressed in a recent viral TikTok.
@jenn_shaw_ food prices in #Australia ... #foodwaste #foodprices #kitchenhacks ♬ Taste It - Ikson
One comment under the video claims customers can save up to A$1.50 by using the stem-removing hack.
Now a supermarket has decided it has had enough of the trend, warning its customers that removing the stems would be deemed theft.
The sign read: “ATT customers. You must not break the stems of the broccoli.
“This is classed as theft. All broccoli purchases will be checked at the registers. Thanks, Management.”
One from the Rumour File.
A well-known retailer is checking all broccoli purchases! pic.twitter.com/o326mufpHz
— 3AW Breakfast (@RossAndRussel) June 26, 2022
This sternly-worded warning sparked plenty of debate after it was shared by radio station 3AW Breakfast.
Some questioned how leaving the broccoli stems counted as theft, with one person writing: “Technically not theft if you’re leaving it and taking what you pay for.”
Another said: “It’s not theft. That shop needs to understand contract law. The contract between customer and shop in agreeing on a) the item and b) the price.
"You’re not stealing it. You’re paying for what portion you want/need. Where’s this shop? I’ll break them stem off."
A third person wrote: “How is it theft when you are leaving it in the store?”
Others were keen to explain how this could be considered theft though.
The argument is that you’ve assumed the rights of the owner, by altering the products original state
— Writer’s Jake (@WritersJake) June 27, 2022
You are ruining a product because other people are unlikely to buy just the stem. How is it not inappropriate to do?
If it was your business how would you feel about it?
— Nicole McMillon (@NicoleMcMilllon) June 27, 2022
But others were much more concerned about why anyone would possibly want to leave what they believed to be the best part of the vegetable.
One questioned the logic by asking whether people would "peel an orange before you buy it?"
Another wrote: “Stems are so useful. Who on earth wouldn’t want them?”
And a third clearly had a strong love for that particular part of broccoli, claiming they "only eat stalks."
Some offered their suggestions for what you can use the stems for. These included cutting them up and sticking them in an air fryer to make chips, including them in a stir-fry for some extra crunch, or simply just boiling like the florets and eating as they are.
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